View Full Version : Accessing the EA patterns/Default replacements?

22nd Jul 2009, 4:44 PM
Two questions:

1) Where are EA's patterns stored? How might I go about swiping them, cracking them open, and using the textures as a base for my own work?

2) Is it possible to make default replacement's for patterns?

The explanation:
Obviously there would be some inherent problems with having a replacement pattern, but I have a specific thing I want to try. All the wood textures look dingy to me, especially in lighter shades. After looking at the TS2 conversions plum did I think replacing the black background on those patterns with a darkish brown would improve the appearance. It would limit the use of those patterns somewhat, but I would rather have different wood patterns for different uses than one pattern that looks bad all the time.

22nd Jul 2009, 4:51 PM
I believe they're mostly in fullbuild2 - Program Files\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\GameData\Shared\Packages

ThomasRiordan has a tutorial in Modding Discussion on replacing textures. You can replace pattern textures just as easily as anything else. I'm not sure if the thumbnails will regenerate or if you'll be stuck with the defaults though.

The actual -pattern info- itself (which sounds like what you want to actually replace) is probably a bit harder. You might be better off increasing the contrast and lightness of the texture than trying to change the pattern data.

22nd Jul 2009, 10:02 PM
So I figured out how to get the patterns I want to edit, but when I opened them I got a bit of a mystery. I know that the woods are single color patterns, but the .dds have multiple channels.

What are the extra ones for? Does anyone know? Is the game some how using them to generate color depth? Are they a specular maps? Are they trash left over from the graphic artist that made them in the first place?

22nd Jul 2009, 10:20 PM
A pattern can have multiple channels, but the game doesn't have to use the data in these channels, Instead, it can shift the entire colour range instead.

There are basically 3 types of pattern:
- Normal, coloured ones using the 4 channels
- HSV shifted ones
- Patterns with background images

If you find the XML for the particular pattern you are looking at, you'll see what kind it is. (or if you use the pattern browser in CTU it'll also tell you)

23rd Jul 2009, 12:07 AM
Thank you both so much for pointing me in the right direction. While I haven't yet done exactly what I want, I feel like I am well on my way. Hurrah!

Edit: More questions!

So I've got the 'rgbmask' the 'specmap' and the XML for the pattern I'm trying to replace. I've successfully fiddled with the rgbmap so it's more to my liking and I've made the package that overrides the original. What I really want to do is fuss with the amount of HSV shifting that is going on in each layer, but as far as I can tell none of the numeric values in the XML do that. (My testing method is to change a value, save, check in game, its not particularly scientific so I might be wrong)

Anyway, is there an additional resource associated with HSV patterns that does this sort of tuning? Are there default values that apply to all patterns? Or am I just blind?

Editx2: Never mind, figured it out.

Editx3: Another question: Is anyone aware of some sort of plugin for photoshop or a freestanding program that will let me preview the .dds for an HSV pattern in a form that resembles the final imported product? I've kinda figured out the gist of how it works, but trying to apply that knowledge to a graphic is making me do the twitchy thing in one eye. Also, is anyone else playing with these?

26th Jul 2009, 12:12 PM
Heh... I think you're on your own on this one ;) I'd be happy to know the answers to those questions myself though. Good work on the default replacements btw :)

28th Jul 2009, 2:15 AM
I'd like to know if it would be possible to delete a lot of the in game patterns all together. There's only a handful that I use... and there seem to be many (especially in the themed catagory) that have no use for me whatsoever.. figuring out which is which would be a pain most likely ..... but would there be any negative impact on the game if one were to delete a few of the in-game patterns? (Like the cowprint. I loathe it.)

28th Jul 2009, 4:00 AM
Moryrie, I think thats going to be tricky to do in such a way that you can undo it later.

I mean, in theory you could export the entire fullbuild0.package AND fullbuild2.package delete what you don't like, then repackage them up. At that point you could overwrite your original fullbuild packages but it might irrevocably break your game, and even if it worked you couldn't undo it later. Conversely you could put your edited fullbuilds in your mods folder, but then you wouldn't be compatible with most mods related to aesthetics or whatever else is in fullbuild (unless of course you had some sort of hierarchy in place, there is information about doing that on MATY).

I imagine your best bet at this point is to try to replace the defaults with something you like better. If I can do it with the woods, I'm sure you could do it for cow print ;)

28th Jul 2009, 4:50 AM
So this should be an edit of the last post, but MTS isn't letting me do that right now. So:

Edit: on second thought you couldn't save the new fullbuilds in your mods folder because they only change what is IN them not what isn't in them.... I hope that makes sense. Anyway, that means overwriting the original or editing them so you can stand them. At least thats my understanding, its possible someone else knows differently.